Favorite Poem “To My Grown-Up Child” By Alice E. Chase

A mother holds up her child.

A mother holds up her child. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To My Grown-Up Child” by Alice E. Chase is a wonderful poem, which touches and captures the heart of everyone. It  essentially delivers an insightful message to all parents – to not to forget to keep aside some special moments for their children; because these special moments of today will become the precious treasures of future, which the parents can continue to ponder over in their old age, with absolutely no regrets. This poem eloquently portrays the deep-rooted anguish and yearnings of a mother, for the years that have simply passed by, and cannot be retrieved any longer. The mom laments over the apparently best choices she had made in the past, as a dedicated mother who is always busy tending to the needs of her child – but not opting to share some fun times and little things asked by her child many a times. The years have now rushed past, and the empty-nester mom now longs sincerely to go back to those good old days when the child used to ask her to do little fun things together (which she used to refuse politely then, by saying “A little later, Son.”) Those well-intended promises of “A little later” seldom come to pass, and neither the lost opportunities nor the precious moments of bonding ever return.

Mother and child on the beach

Mother and child on the beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 In my view, this poem very skillfully triggers a reality check, i.e. awakens one from the deep slumber to the harsh realities of life – with a quick and sudden realization of how swiftly the time flies and slips through one’s fingers. It’s important to understand, better late than never, that it probably makes no sense in conquering greater heights if one cannot share and cherish small happiness with the child in day-to-day life.

US Navy 030523-N-3642E-007 A Navy wife and mot...

US Navy 030523-N-3642E-007 A Navy wife and mother holds her nine-month-old child, while waiting in the pouring rain for her husband to arrive home from a six-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 On personal note, this poem was first brought to my attention by my wife, when our daughter had just started with her Kindergarten. We were touched and really intrigued by the insightful and thought-provoking message in this poem. It surely makes one realize that, it’s not those fun-filled socialization with friends or outstanding achievements or even amazing inventions in professional life that could matter finally in one’s life; but in actuality, it’s the good quality time or select precious moments or a few simple little things shared with the child – that’s what really makes the big difference in the big picture.  Hence it’s imperative that one should strive to strike a golden balance, for the time waits for no man (and for no woman either). This is certainly one of my top favorite poems, and I would like to share it with the readers of my blog.



Massachusetts, January 28, 2013.

Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate.

Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate.

Mother and Child Union

Mother and Child – Most Precious Moments of Parenting.

To My Grown-Up Child

My hands were busy through the day;
I didn’t have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn’t have much time for you.

I’d wash your clothes, I’d sew and cook,
But when you’d bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun
I’d say: “A little later, son.”

I’d tuck you in all safe at night
and hear your prayers, turn out the lights,
Then tip toe softly to the door…
I wish I’d stayed a minute more.

For life is short, the years rush past…
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No good-night kiss,
No prayers to hear…
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still,
The days are long and hard to fill,
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.

Alice E. Chase

Mom and child

Mom and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

mother-and-daughter2mother n child

The Parental Love, Affection and Pride are always the same, whether they are Royals or Commoners. Newly born Prince George with his proud parents.

The Parental Feelings of Love, Affection and Pride are always the same, regardless of whether the parents are Royals or Commoners. Newly born Prince George with his proud parents: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William of Britain.

dshenai.wordpress.com © 2013

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About Deodatta Shenai-Khatkhate

Scientist by profession, with education from various Universities in India, England, Scotland, and U.S.A. Interests include Literature, Music, Photography, Social service, and understanding different cultures.
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29 Responses to Favorite Poem “To My Grown-Up Child” By Alice E. Chase

  1. MaryAnn says:

    The following poem originally titled “A Tribute to Mother” copyright 1961.
    I wrote this some 40 years ago.
    It seems as though someone has taken 95% of my words
    and changed it to “”my son”. Since I ended up
    having two sons later in life, I would like to
    thank whoever changed the words to my original poem.
    My Mother still has the original “hand written” copy of
    of the poem. To have my Mother and my sons related
    in the same poem is delightful.

    A Tribute to Mother

    Your hands once busy through the day,
    You didn’t have much time to play.
    The little games I asked you too,
    You never had much time to do.

    You’d wash my clothes and sew and cook
    And when I brought my picture book
    And asked you share my fun,
    You’d say: “A little later, hun.”

    You tucked me in all safe at night,
    Hear my prayers, turn out the light,
    Then tiptoe softly to the door.
    I wish you’d stayed a moment more.

    For life is short, the years rush past.
    A little child grows up so fast.
    No longer are you at my side,
    My precious secrets to confide.

    The picture books are put away,
    There are no longer games to play,
    No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear.
    That all belongs to yesteryear.

    Your hands once busy, now lie still.
    The days are long and hard to fill
    I wish we could go back and do
    The little things I asked you to.

    But thats OK, cause I love you still.
    I always did and I always will.

    MaryAnn LoSchiavo Barbuto
    written 1961


    • Thanks MaryAnn, for your clarification about the history of the poem….and most importantly, for adding the original beautiful poem by you. It is my pleasure to feature this gentle and elegant poem in my blog. If you don’t mind, I will be extremely delighted to post it separately as an independent inspirational poem (with due credit to you as the poet). IMHO it will do a better justice to your excellent creation, which it truly deserves. Pls let me know. Thanks again.


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  5. annetbell says:

    Wonderful message ….namaste. . .. Anne


  6. annetbell says:

    Deo, I got up this morning and reread this. It made me cry! Namaste. . . Anne


  7. Dawn says:

    I’m confused. Who was it actually written by, Alice E. Chase or MaryAnn LoSchiavo Barbuto?


  8. Dawn McLean says:

    MaryAnn LoSchiavo Barbuto claims to have written it in 1961 yet everywhere else I have seen that the author was Alice E. Chase. As a University scholar, I have learned that taking a piece of writing, changing it slightly and then claiming to have written it is called plagiarism and is a punishable offence in the world of higher education. If it was in fact rewritten by someone, they should be giving credit to the original author. I love this poem and I’m planning to read it in church when I give my sermon on Motherhood this coming Sunday. I believe that the true author was Alice E. Chase because it is very similar to other poems of hers such as, “Who Will Take Grandma?”, also a cautionary tale of the result in neglecting to give our time to our loved ones.


    • Thanks a lot for your thoughtful and insightful comment. I do agree with and appreciate your research in this matter, and importantly, with your conclusion about the true authorship. My independent search from internet earlier had also led me to the same conclusion.

      The poem is surely very beautiful and touches the heart right away.

      Best Regards,



      • Dawn McLean says:

        Yes. It’s a beautiful poem. After my Mother had passed away six years ago I found this poem tucked in between papers in a file with my name on it. In the file were some of my awards and accomplishments. I read the poem as I sat in the garage going through her things. I cried very hard.


      • Susan says:

        The author was Alice E. Chase. She was my paternal grandmother. :) I just stumbled across this blog while doing a google search and felt compelled to say something after reading MaryAnn’s untrue claims.


      • Thanks a million, Susan. I appreciate your prompt action to ensure that truth prevails. I am sure you must be proud of your paternal grandmother, who has given us such a great gift of insightful poem.

        Thanks, and have a great day!


      • Dawn McLean says:

        Just as I thought, and expressed on July 29. Glad to have this mystery solved. Alice E. Chase is a great writer. Thank-you!


  9. Thanks Dawn, for sharing your feelings. My heartfelt condolences for your loss. Losing any parent, either mother or father, is such a tremendous loss that neither time nor any wealth can compensate. I empathize. Warm Regards.

    – Deo


  10. jon says:

    whats a good program for pcs for storybook writing??


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